The Greatest Man I’ll Ever Know
As I ran about my own rat race this week, I was struck by a moment of sonder as I walked through the fallen leaves at noontime. Truthfully I was just walking my dog, but I did pause as the echoes of autumn swept about my ankles. I realized that every year I get farther away from the teachings and notions I was taught as a child, and grow more fully into the Diva you see today. That isn’t to say there aren’t traces of that same little boy, there definitely are, but what my faith has taught me is that there’s a time and place for everything. As I sit here before you I am putting my faith in you to read and to keep reading. For without you, my words never make it past the banks of my Great Lake.
Sonder, noun- The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own, populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries, and inherited craziness. An epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed. In which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic on the highway, a lighted window at dusk.
They say that the greatest man you’ll ever know lives just down the hall, or perhaps just down the street. But the truth is that the greatest person you’ll ever truly know will be yourself. I’ve spent a lifetime working on myself, and I’m still discovering new things all the time. Life isn’t always easy, it’s a circuitous journey that often brings us into uncharted and unfamiliar territory. But I believe it’s a trip worth taking for the hope, love, and light that it can bring into your life. As Margaret Mitchell said in Gone With The Wind, “Life's under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it's no worse than it is.”
While I think that’s a powerful statement, I believe it’s only half true. I believe we are equal parts nature and nurture. Whether you grew up in a religious household or grew up in a part of the world where religion is embedded into the culture, it can be difficult to escape it. Likewise, it can be difficult to disseminate fact from fiction. I have lived in this county for 25 years, and while I didn’t grow up particularly religious, I was raised to have a spiritual mindset. I do believe in God, the other side, etc, and I’ve heard many arguments from both sides as to whether God exists or not. I don’t have the right to answer that question for you, but what I can tell you is that none of us truly know. Some people believe we move onto heaven, some people believe we move directly into another life, while still others believe that we simply cease to exist. I have always tried to be open-minded when it comes to other people’s beliefs, and I make it a point to realize that my reality may be very different from theirs.
Just remember as you pass that person on the street though you may only be a shadow in their lives, here for only a moment. If you take the time to look around, you’ll find the light you’re looking for.
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As Always, I'm Diva, and thanks for dropping by.